Milton Keynes Council cleared of plastic bag dumping allegations in Malaysia

Stock photo
Stock photo

MK Council's recycling operations have been cleared of allegations made by a BBC documentary about the export of plastics, an independent report finds.

The council called for an independent review of its recycling systems after TV personality Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall found some old MK pink sacks in a mountain of rubbish while filming for a programme called War on Plastic.

The review found that no plastics are exported to Malaysia, intentionally or by accident and it confirmed that MK’s sacks are processed in the UK where they’re turned into fragments suitable for reuse. It found no breach of legislation by the council or its contractors.

As a result the council called for a review of its supply chain to provide reassurance that MK plastics are processed properly and in line with environmental legislation.

Councillor Emily Darlington, cabinet member for the public realm said: “The report looks in great detail into our supply chain and into the actions of our contractors and confirms that we do not export waste to Malaysia.

"We hope this independent report encourages people to recycle. In MK our recycling is processed properly and even our non-recyclable waste has a use, creating energy.”

Until recently the council used to issue more than half a million sacks a year, with only about one third of them actually being used for household recycling.

The council has moved to a system where residents have to order them online.